India Batla House encounter: Delhi court awards death penalty to...

Batla House encounter: Delhi court awards death penalty to Ariz Khan, says case falls under “rarest of rare”

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A Delhi Court has awarded death penalty to Ariz Khan, who was convicted in the 2008 Batla House encounter case, in which a Police inspector was killed.

The Court concluded that this was a case that fell under the “rarest of the rare” category, meriting the award of the death sentence for Khan, Bar and Bench reported.

Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav awarded the death sentence to Ariz Khan.

“Convict on account of his despicable act has forfeited his right to live. After balancing mitigating circumstances against aggravating circumstances, it is concluded that it is a rarest of the rare case where convict deserves maximum sentence provided under law. It is the level of magnitude, decree of brutality, attitude and mindset of wrongdoer behind the crime alongwith other factors which make it a rarest of the rare case.. Interest of justice will be met if convict is awarded death penalty.”, the Court said.

According to the prosecution it was submitted that the “collective conscience of society” was shocked due to the brutal manner in which Inspector MC Sharma.

Additional Public Prosecutor AT Ansari represented the State while Advocate MS Khan represented the convict, Ariz Khan.

The Court has convicted Ariz Khan under 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions)/ 333 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty)/ 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from his duty), 307 (murder attempt), 34(common intent), section 27 (Punishment for using arms) od arms act and section 174A (non-appearance in response to a proclamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

A fine of Rs 11 lakh was also imposed on Khan.

Ariz’s lawyer, MS Khan, had pleaded for a lenient sentence before the court.

The matter has now been sent to the Delhi High Court for confirmation of death penalty, the Bar and Bench report read.

On March 8, the court convicted Ariz, observing that he was a “trained criminal” and not “an ordinary individual and that he “intentionally and knowingly committed murder” of deceased Special Cell Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma during the encounter, reported The Indian Express.

Khan, who was on the run for a decade before he was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell in 2018, the Indian Express report read.

The Batla House incident

On September 13, 2008, serial blasts in Delhi, left 39 people dead and 159 injured.

On September 19, Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma came to know about that the persons involved in the blast. They were alleged to be Indian Mujahideen militants, residing at a building in Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Delhi.

As police entered the house where the accused were present, they were allegedly fired upon, and Sharma died in the ‘encounter’. Two accused sustained bullet injuries and died during treatment, while the two others managed to escape. One of the accused, Shahzad Ahmad, was arrested in 2010 and sentenced for life in 2013.

After the said encounter Ariz Khan was declared a proclaimed offender. He was arrested by the Delhi police in 2018 from Uttrakhand’s Banbasa bordering Nepal, where “he had been living as a Nepali under an alias “Mohammad Salim”, after acquiring the Nepali Citizenship”.

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